Matchzone: Cove Rangers (H)

Kilmarnock secured a hard-fought victory against Cove Rangers to ensure safe passage into the Scottish Gas Scottish Cup quarter-final.

Marley Watkins’ red-hot scoring form continued as he netted an opener just before half-time, and Danny Armstrong rounded off his 100th Kilmarnock game in style with a goal three minutes after coming off the bench.

Former Killie striker Rumarn Burrell had a great chance to give the visitors the lead after just eight minutes as he had most of the goal at his mercy from close range, but Fraser Murray was the hero as he blocked the effort off the line.

Watkins went close in the 15th minute as his shot from six yards was blocked over the crossbar and out for a corner.

Killie’s No 23 had another good chance seven minutes later as he fired a shot from 20 yards, but it fizzed narrowly wide of the post.

Van Veen went close just after the half-hour mark with a looping header from a corner, but it thundered off the crossbar.

Matty Kennedy tried his luck eight minutes before half-time, but Nicholas Suman was alert in the Cove goal to catch the header from close range.

Watkins then sent the hosts into half-time in the lead as he poked home a knockdown in the 44th minute.

Van Veen had a fantastic chance to grab his first Killie goal in the 54th minute as he rose highest to fire a header, but it fell inches wide of the post to his frustration.

Substitute Armstrong scored soon after coming off the bench as he fired home a powerful low shot from a Rory McKenzie cross.

Captain Kyle Vassell thought he had made it three in stoppage-time as he lobbed Suman, but the Cove No 1 scrambled back to palm it off the line.

Score: Kilmarnock 2-0 Cove Rangers

Team: Dennis, Mayo, Findlay, Ndaba, Murray (Stewart 83), McKenzie (Balagizi 83), Polworth, Watson (Donnelly 68), Kennedy, Watkins (Armstrong 78), Van Veen (Vassell 68)